I have a confession to make. I still haven’t seen The Avengers: Infinity Wars. I’ve been going to Marvel movies since the first Avengers movie came out (at which point I went back and re-watched all the movies that had already been released) and we typically plan outings with our friends to each new showing.
This time was only slightly different, I helped plan the event, and attended our pre-movie dinner but spent the duration of the movie wandering the mall with my infant. I’d previously decided when I went back to work that all weekends and evenings were sacred time that I would refuse to be separated from the baby, since it was an obligation for the rest of the work week. I had a plan in mind to take advantage of our local theater’s “Bring the Baby” showing, where they raise the lights and lower the volume and encourage mothers to bring their kids to a Monday matinee. My plan was to take an extra long lunch and make up the hours later on that week on a day I already had PTO planned, I’d cleared it with my team, my boss, my sitter.
I failed to take one thing into account: how badly my tired brain was going to mess this plan up. Big time. Like I went to the completely wrong theater. Late. Bad. Not to mention how embarrassing it was to get back online and tell my team, “Yea, I screwed up, no movie for me. Got anything you want my help with now that I’m back?” I’m sure it makes your teammates want to trust you to do your work correctly when you can’t do simple things like leave on time for the correct destination.
Perhaps I wouldn’t have been quite as upset if I hadn’t built it up in my head as a special event. It was going to be my first big trip out of the house without someone else to help me wrangle a diaperbag (thank the snow, flu season, and grocery delivery services for that!) and a chance to prove I am actually capable of being responsible for a baby alone. I’d been telling people about my plan for days (weeks) and gotten hyped up to see the movie spoiler free. Being disappointrd after all of that I started doubting whether I wanted to see the movie at all (read: pouting because I didn’t get my way).
Honestly, there isn’t a really good reason I was as upset as I was. I’ll chalk it up to hormones, but it doesn’t really help to feel better in the moment just because there is a biological explanation. It feels silly to be so frustrated at something, like getting a cold over my birthday (and again for Mother’s Day), but like it or not life has a way of tripping me up.
Instead of letting my circumstances steal my joy, I’ve had to take a good look in the mirror and figure out what exactly I am putting value on in the situation. I didn’t get to go to the movies, but I still got to spend time with my baby. I may not have gone out to eat, but relaxing at home in the peace and quiet is a welcome relief from a busy life. Even with the introspection, I still give myself permission to be disappointed and petty and pout. Because I know that acknowledging those feelings is a healthy way to let them exist and move past them.
So next time I run into a bummer situation I’m going to take the time to vent and then to let it go. Maybe I’ll even have the presence of mind to take away a valuable lesson like this from the experience.